From JEFF COX
Organic To Be
You hear a lot about eating locally these days. It’s one of the three pillars of eating correctly: 1) eat organic; 2) eat local; 3) eat in season. And all three pillars are important. But let’s take a closer look at “eat locally.” Let’s see what that really means, and why that’s such a good idea. And why, in the final analysis, it may be the most important pillar of them all.
Some aspects are obvious. When we eat locally produced food—grown within our local “foodshed,” as the current argot has it—we shorten the supply line from farm to table. Less gasoline or diesel fuel is used to transport the food from where it’s grown to where it’s bought and consumed. That means less air pollutants from fossil fuels and less carbon dioxide is pumped into the atmosphere on behalf of moving the food to market. So, eating locally produced organic food lessens the amount of greenhouse gases used to produce and transport that food.
Eating locally means supporting local farmers. This means keeping local family farmers on their land. Wendell Berry has written eloquently about the social benefits of strong, local farm economies. They translate into strong local communities. And they are the soil from which real democracy grows. Instead of being cogs in a massive production machine, family farmers are their own bosses. They are people who can voice their honest opinions without fear of losing their jobs. They can tell the truth, and the truth is contagious. It also sets us free.
Family farmers are also locally-focused, practical ecologists and environmentalists. Their environmentalism is not based on ideology, but on an intimate knowledge of the land under their care. They know where the pheasants and the quail lay their eggs, and can protect those spots…
More at our companion blog OrganicToBe.com→